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TRENDnet TEW-805UB AC1200 Dual Band Wireless USB Adapter
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

4 out of 5 eggs Economically priced and easy setup with fair to good performance 12/15/2013

This review is from: TRENDnet TEW-805UB AC1200 Dual Band Wireless USB Adapter

Pros: -2.4 GHz 802.11b/g/n and 5 GHz 802.11a/n/ac with up to 867 Mbps Wireless AC or up to or 300 Mbps advertised wireless speeds.
-Backwards compatible with IEEE 802.11g, IEEE 802.11b, and IEEE 802.11a networks.
-Multiple-input and multiple-output (MIMO) technology which should allow for expanded coverage.
-Windows XP (32/64-bit) through Windows 8 (32/64-bit) compatibility.
-USB 3.0 connection which should equate to greater I/O bandwidth and higher speeds.
-Protected Setup (WPS) button and nonobtrusive status light.
-3-year limited warranty.
-Very reasonably priced.
-Very easy and quick installation using the TRENDnet utility (see utility cons below).

During my testing, 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz signal strength was consistently at 80% or above when the adapter was placed at less than approximately 45 feet from my Netgear AC1200 capable Gigabit wireless router. However, signal strength degraded quickly at distances greater than 45 to 55 feet, and was less than 30% by approximately 65-70 feet. TEW-805UB in door coverage is advertised at up to 100 meters (330 feet). USB 3.0, 5 GHz connection speeds were 150-175 Mbps and 2.4 GHz connection speeds were 80-110 Mbps when tested at approximately 40-45 feet from my router.

The adapter never lost connectivity during testing when the adapter was placed at less than approximately 45 feet from my wireless router.

Cons: The adapter is a bit bulky and could easily block access to adjoining ports. This problem could be easily addressed with a USB 3.0 extension cable, but an extension cable was not included with my TEW-805UB package.

It appears that the TRENDnet utility is necessary for the adapter to work; I could not get the adapter to work properly by only installing the drivers. Acknowledging that the utility works well, such utilities can cause problems and/or conflicts. Additionally, it was not possible to connect with the utility without creating a profile.

I was not able to obtain advertised maximal wireless speeds or advertised maximal coverage range.

Please also see other thoughts.

Other Thoughts: All said and done, I have mixed opinions about the TEW-805UB. That is, the TEW-805UB is a slightly bulky AC1200 dual band wireless USB 3.0 adapter that is very reasonably priced at less than 40 dollars, very easy to setup and configure using the included setup utility and drivers, and includes a generous 3-year limited warranty. In comparison, this adapter performs better than my N600 wireless dual band USB 2.0 adapters and was on par with a few AC1200 adapters that I have tested.

In contrast, the package should ship with a USB 3.0 extension cable, installation without the utility should be possible, and I was not able to obtain anywhere close to the advertised maximal wireless speeds or advertised maximal coverage range.

In fairness, maximal capabilities are seldom obtainable, individual findings may vary greatly based on factors such as hardware and environment, and I was not able to test the TEW-805UB on a paired AC1200 TRENDnet wireless router. Equally, while my Netgear paired AC1200 adapter has greater speed and distance performance, the cost was double that of the TEW-805UB and it only included a 1-year limited warranty. I was torn between a rating of 3 and 4 and given that 3.5 was not an option, I chose a rating of 4 based on product features, ease of setup, warranty and cost.

So when would I recommend this adapter – For users with an AC1200 Gigabit wireless router that are in need of economic performance gains above that which a typical N600 wireless dual band adapter can offer, and for an environment where the adapter will be no more than 50 feet from the wireless router.

Disclosure: I am not paid by Newegg.com, Newegg.com subsidiaries, partners, and/or vendors to test products or write product reviews. I am provided with sample products which I may or may not be required to return to Newegg. I make every effort to test products under real world and end-user conditions, and to report my individual experiences in a respectful and fair manner.

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WD BLACK SERIES WD3003FZEX 3TB 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

5 out of 5 eggs WD Black WD3003FZEX 3TB - Highly Recommended 12/11/2013

This review is from: WD BLACK SERIES WD3003FZEX 3TB 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive

Pros: WD Black series, 5 year warranty, large capacity with one terabyte platters, 64 MB Cache, SATA Gen3, 6 GB/s capable, 7200 RPM, Native Command Queuing, efficient power profile, and low acoustic levels.

Installation and setup: The disk was quickly installed and easily setup using a GPT partition in windows 8.1 (64 bit); the formatted capacity was 2.72 GB. No problems were identified with the hard drive via a surface test, SMART attributes or by Hard Disk Sentinel PRO.

Benchmarks: Because there are a lot of very good benchmarks and comparisons already posted in other reviews, I decided to add something new and benchmark this drive on a 3 GB/s and a 6 GB/s AHCI Controller, as well as an external USB 3.0 docking station with a compatible SATA-to-USB bridge chip. Noting that 3 GB/s and 6 GB/s AHCI Controller benchmarks are often mixed; I was not surprised by the nominal differences between the two. However, the external docking station performed better than I anticipated.


HD TUNE

Intel(R) ICH10R SATA 3 GB/s AHCI Controller
Transfer Rate Minimum: 113.4 MB/sec
Transfer Rate Maximum: 166.3 MB/sec
Transfer Rate Average: 145.2 MB/sec
Access Time: 9.1 ms
Burst Rate: 196.7 MB/sec

Marvell 9128 SATA 6 GB/s AHCI Controller
Transfer Rate Minimum: 113.4 MB/sec
Transfer Rate Maximum: 167.3 MB/sec
Transfer Rate Average: 145.3 MB/sec
Access Time: 9.1 ms
Burst Rate: 207.4 MB/sec

ORICO 6518SUS3 External USB 3.0 HDD Docki
Transfer Rate Minimum: 113.4 MB/sec
Transfer Rate Maximum: 128.8 MB/sec
Transfer Rate Average: 120.6 MB/sec
Access Time: 9.2 ms
Burst Rate: 99.8 MB/sec

CRYSTAL DISK MARK

Intel(R) ICH10R SATA 3 GB/s AHCI Controller
Sequential Read: 164.689 MB/s
Sequential Write: 162.268 MB/s
Random Read 512KB: 53.862 MB/s
Random Write 512KB: 81.134 MB/s
Random Read 4KB (QD=1): 0.706 MB/s [172.4 IOPS]
Random Write 4KB (QD=1): 1.330 MB/s [324.7 IOPS]
Random Read 4KB (QD=32): 1.463 MB/s [357.1 IOPS]
Random Write 4KB (QD=32): 1.306 MB/s [318.9 IOPS]

Marvell 9128 SATA 6 GB/s AHCI Controller
Sequential Read: 166.493 MB/s
Sequential Write: 163.202 MB/s
Random Read 512KB: 53.201 MB/s
Random Write 512KB: 79.722 MB/s
Random Read 4KB (QD=1): 0.702 MB/s [171.4 IOPS]
Random Write 4KB (QD=1): 1.312 MB/s [320.4 IOPS]
Random Read 4KB (QD=32): 1.425 MB/s [347.8 IOPS]
Random Write 4KB (QD=32): 1.346 MB/s [328.6 IOPS]

ORICO 6518SUS3 External USB 3.0 HDD Docking Base
Sequential Read: 136.073 MB/s
Sequential Write: 100.352 MB/s
Random Read 512KB: 50.622 MB/s
Random Write 512KB: 67.150 MB/s
Random Read 4KB (QD=1): 0.751 MB/s [183.4 IOPS]
Random Write 4KB (QD=1): 1.460 MB/s [356.4 IOPS]
Random Read 4KB (QD=32): 0.737 MB/s [180.0 IOPS]
Random Write 4KB (QD=32): 1.319 MB/s [322.0 IOPS]

Cons: The drive is not compatible with SATA cable latch connectors. This was the only minor con that I identified based on my preferences.

The price is higher than drives with lesser performance and reliability; this may be a negative if a performance oriented drive is not needed (e.g., a seldom used external backup).

Other Thoughts: Shipping and packaging: Newegg shipped this OEM drive in a suitable and protective HD bubble enclosure specifically designed for the task. Two Raptors that I purchased a few months ago also shipped in the same protective HD bubble enclosures. This is a LONG NEEDED change and I hope all OEM drives will continue to be shipped in such a manner.

Installation and setup: Because traditional MBR partitioning in Windows is limited to 2.2TB, an EFI/UEFI BIOS, compatible storage controller/firmware/driver and a GPT/GUID partition table will be needed to fully utilize the capacity of this hard drive. While Windows XP and later support GPT, an unsupported BIOS on an older motherboard may be the limiting factor. In this case, Windows dynamic volumes can typically be used to combine two partitions into a single drive letter. If you want to use this drive to boot an OS, I believe that you will need to run a 64-bit version of Windows Vista or above, a 64-bit version of Linux or use a Mac.

WD Support and RMA experiences: I have has three WD RMA’s in the past five years and in all three cases, the drives were replaced with new and equal or greater capacity drives. I think the trick is to play the RMA game according to WD rules. That is, setup the online account, register the drive, run diagnostics, politely consult with technical support but remain firm if they attempt to dismiss a legitimate issue, and then RMA the drive. A drive that will no longer spin up or that becomes inaccessible is a straight forward path to a replacement.

Overall experiences with WD: I have been using Western Digital hard drives for well over two decades and most of my Western Digital hard drives were fully functional when decommissioned for faster and higher capacity drives. I have also used many Seagate, Maxtor, IBM, Toshiba, and Hitachi branded drives. Overall, I have had very good luck with Western Digital Raptor, Black and RE series hard drives based on reliability, longevity, performance and RMA support. I have had comparatively worse experiences with drives from other manufacturers based on reliability and failure rates, performance in some cases, and poor RMA experiences.

I would highly recommend the WD Black WD3003FZEX 3TB for individuals in need of a high performance and large capacity hard drive.

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LINKSYS RE2000 Selectable Dual-Band Wireless Range Extender
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • Owned For: 1 day to 1 week

4 out of 5 eggs Solid entry level range extender with innovative AC power and positioning options 09/12/2013

This review is from: LINKSYS RE2000 Selectable Dual-Band Wireless Range Extender

Pros: The unit is well packaged, comes with a one year warranty, telephone and email support, and appears to have adequate web support.

The AC power cover/plug can be detached and the unit can be connected using an AC power cord. This makes this unit incredibly versatile in terms of placement for aesthetics, intended function and signal strength.

The RE2000 is equipped with a 10/100 bridge port to connect a wired device and it ships with an Ethernet cable.

The RE2000 is compatible with wireless-N 802.11n routers, the unit is equipped with 2 internal antennas, the web interface provides good status information, the range extender supports some QoS functions, and manual setup is quick and easy.

The RE2000 was reliable with good performance when positioned with minimal signal strength of -40 to -50 dBm and less than 100 feet from my wireless router (results may vary greatly in different environments).

Cons: Comparable range extenders typically cost a bit less, are more compact and have equivalent performance.

Written instructions are limited and lack detail, manual setup instructions in the PDF manual are incomplete, and product information lacks sufficient details on technical specifications.

Attempting to use the automated RE2000 setup utility wasted a lot of my time with no results. Specifically, the setup utility initially indicated that wired connections must be disconnected to continue setup. After disconnecting my network cable, the setup utility indicated that second party wireless configuration utilities must be disabled and the windows wireless connection manager must be enabled. Given that I was already using the windows wireless connection manager, I came to an impasse as was not able to use automated setup. I attempted automated setup on my laptop with the same unsuccessful outcome. Luckily, manual setup was a very quick and easy (see instructions in other thoughts if needed).

The range extender functions as a repeater and cannot be configured with a unique SSID and passphrase or WEP Key in order to make a distinction between the primary wireless router and the range extender. In terms of actual and potential security concerns, it is unclear if Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) and the WPS pin are disabled when using manual setup, SSID broadcast cannot be disabled and the paraphrase is not hidden in the wireless security settings. The latter two items may be a deal breaker for some users (e.g., WPS exploits largely require an SSID broadcast).

Other Thoughts: This range extender is a selectable single band Wi-Fi adapter (i.e., 300 Mbps maximum on 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz maximum), and not a simultaneous dual band adapter.

The features that sets this unit aside from the competition are the AC power and placement options, and perhaps the 10/100 bridge port.

In my case, the setup utility created unnecessary difficulties and delayed what should have been a quick and easy task; I recommend using manual setup. The manual set instructions that I used are as follows:
1. Connect the RE2000 directly to a computer using an Ethernet cable
2. Power on the RE2000
3. Launch the RE2000 admin page using the default IP: 192.168.1.1
4. Leave the user name blank and enter “admin” as the password
5. Navigate to the admin page and enter a strong password
6. Save the configuration
7. Navigate to “Wireless” and then to “Basic Wireless Settings”
8. Select “manual”
9. Enter your router’s SSID
10. Select “security Mode” and enter your Passphrase or WEP Key
11. Save the configuration
12. Unplug the Ethernet cable and the RE2000; plug the RE2000 back in after 30 seconds.
13. Scan you network for attached devices to identify the new RE2000 IP address and login using the admin password created above (an address reservation for the RE2000 can be added under the LAN setup in most routers so that the IP address does not change)
14. Complete setup such as enabling logs

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Fredrick P.'s Profile

Display Name: Fredrick P.

Date Joined: 07/09/03

  • Reviews: 32
  • Helpfulness: 27
  • First Review: 12/14/05
  • Last Review: 12/15/13
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